The Infiltrator Review

The Infiltrator (2016) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

Director: Brad Furman
Writers: Ellen Sue Brown (screenplay) (as Ellen Brown Furman), Robert Mazur (based on the book on)
Stars: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger

Robert Mazur (Cranston) Is a U.S. Customs official who uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (but more on Escobar in a little while.)

The Infiltrator takes place in the 1980s and gives us a gripping gritty inside look at what life is like for a ones who goes undercover to work with the drug cartel.

Mazur is close to retirement and could easily leave to spend time with his wife and kids, but takes this one last job (thanks to Emir Abreu, played by the excellent John Leguizamo). Which proves to be the toughest one yet as he poses as a money launderer to try and take down Pablo Escobar’s entire drug trafficking empire.

Cranston’s performance is enjoyable and tense (especially in the scenes when he is deep undercover playing his alter ego Bob Musella) you can sense that just one slip, just one wrong word will blow his cover as the Colombians are portrayed as serious paranoid individuals and as a group they don’t trust each other.

The Movie also touches on his personal life in and the impact of his undercover work. As mentioned earlier John Leguizamo gives an excellent performance as Emir Abreu and actor Yul Vazquez in a particularly memorable role. Joseph Gilgun is great as recruited criminal Dominic and Rubén Ochandiano stands out as dangerous, brutal, cocaine-laced Gonzalo Mora Jr. but its Benjamin Bratt (Traffic and Doctor Strange) as Roberto Alcaino who steals every scene. Bratt and Cranston along with Leguizamo and Diane Kruger really sell the contrasting criminal underworld and undercover life.

The only gripe I have with The Infiltrator is tagging Pablo Escobar in the Movie’s synopsis as part of the overall story. Escobar is merely mentioned in this movie and only shown discreetly in one scene. The main focus of the story is in fact is a lot more about what happened with BCCI (the UK’s Bank of Credit and Commerce International), the 7th largest private bank at that time.

Going into this movie, do not expect a high paced action thriller, this movie is more a character study and will keep you interested until the films climatic final scene.

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